Six degrees of separation.

Six_degrees_of_separation_01 kevin_bacon

The theory of six degrees of separation–that every person on earth is separated from every other person on earth by no more than six people–is interesting to me.  It’s also extremely creepy.  But it could also be sort of comforting.   I suppose the same claim could be made for anything on earth, not just humans.  We are all connected?  Maybe.  It’s just one of those odd things I always think about.

Things to ponder:

How does the Internet play into 6DOS?  Would there be fewer “separations” between us all now that most people are online?   Were there more than six degrees of separation back in the days before electronic communication of any kind was possible? Or less, because there were fewer people?  Or does only IRL contact count?

I remember the game based on this theory called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” in which actors–any actors, be they in TV, film, or the stage–are linked to Kevin Bacon with the theory that no more than six individuals are between Bacon and anyone else.

Oh, and I came across the concept of 6DOS by reading about rickrolling.  Is any topic on the Internet only separated from any other by six degrees or less too?

ETA: A commenter just informed me that the number has been reduced to four and it’s probably because of Facebook.  I always suspected that Facebook was evil.  This proves it. Pretty soon there will be only one (or would it be zero?) degrees of separation between every person on earth, or at least those with Internet.   Oh, joy.  We can all hold hands and sing Kumbayah together.

Also see When My Worlds Collide.

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About luckyotter

This blog is my journal. I just choose to share it with the world instead of keeping everything inside my head. I'm a recovering Borderline and have also struggled with Avoidant Personality Disorder. I also have Complex PTSD due to having been the victim of narcissistic abuse for most of my life. I write mostly about narcissism, because I was the child of a narcissistic mother, and then married to a sociopathic malignant narcissist for 20 years. But there's a silver lining too. In some ways they taught me about myself. This blog is about all that. Not all my articles will be about NPD, BPD or other personality disorders or mental conditions. I pretty much write about whatever's on my mind at the moment. So there's something for everyone here. Blogging about stuff is crack for my soul. It's self therapy, and hopefully my insights and observations may help others too.
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16 Responses to Six degrees of separation.

  1. draughtrider says:

    Facebook is saying the number is under 4 these days, probably for their users in particular. I’d imagine there are still boundary cases where the number is much higher – for example, Elvis – the people who know him aren’t talking about where he is (but we all know the impersonator gatherings are a cover).
    It’s not really surprising or scary to have a small number … it all gets a lot more complex when you take into account the nature of connections. Some are fairly tenuous …

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Four? Yeah. I believe it. That’s one big reason why Facebook disturbs me. Everyone is on it, I mean EVERYONE, and everyone somehow is connected to everyone else. I don’t like it when people from one segment of my life intermingle with those from another segment. I want to have control over the mixing up of the segments of my life and on Facebook you have no control and it’s creepy af. It’s kind of cool in a way but I can’t deal with it so I avoid Facebook for that and other reasons.
      I wrote about it here:
      https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/02/17/when-my-worlds-collide/

      Like

      • draughtrider says:

        Aside from the fact that you should always assume anything you put ‘out there’ can escape for all to see, worst case, you can actually tie down facebook to some degree. walk through all the security settings and dont allow anything, then use lists, either as superset/subset lists or as discrete lists with no overlap or some combination of the two. Everything you post can then be posted with an audience of that list and nobody else can see. hopefully. 🙂 I have a few lists … it seems to work ok …

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Six degrees of separation. — Lucky Otter’s Haven – Parental Alienation

  3. I don’t know Kevin Bacon. However, in 2014 my daughter and I stayed in Beverly Hills for almost two weeks, in the home of an actor friend of my daughter’s. So I know people who presumably know Kevin Bacon.

    My daughter seems to know everybody. I don’t know how she does it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Mine does too lol! We were in downtown once and two people said hello to my daughter, using her name and everything–and she told me she never saw them in her life! It was creepy.

      Like

  4. eightyape says:

    FACEBOOK IS EVIL, BECAUSE IT CONSISTS OF WALLED GARDENS OF OPINION OVERSEEN BY LITTLE MINI DICTATORS ITS TOTALLY UNDEMOCRATIC AND PEOPLE ARE BANISHED , COMPROMISED AND POLITICALLY SUSPECT AND NAIVE BY PARTICIPATING IN IT.
    IF YOU WANTED TO BREED PSYCHOPATHIC ENVIRONMENTS? THATS HOW YOU DO IT.

    Like

  5. eightyape says:

    ITS LIKE LIVING IN LITTLE BOY BLUES PERSONAL NIGHTMARE, THE INTERNET IS FOREVER IN BLUE AND WHITE, YOUR OLD “FREINDS” “ENEMIES” AND ACQUAINTANCES PARADED IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE “DO YOU KNOW THIS PERSON”
    YES I KNOW YU ZUCKERBURG,,,ALL TOO WELL.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life that I know someone in a movie with Kevin Bacon…I win that game…as for the internet…it may increase connections but not connecting. Like we have more friends but not friendships.

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    • draughtrider says:

      I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Kevin Bacon. Apparently. (that was 6 wasn’t it) 😉 We are made to feel lucky we have friends? friendships seem a thing of the past … and as for relationships, forget it … ok, its depressing Friday already, I’ll cheer up when the caffeine kicks in …

      Like

  7. Bradley says:

    Being in LA it’s easy to be 6 degrees or less than that to most celebrities. I had two friends who are talent agents so that makes it easy for me. Also, being an alcoholic, I’m one or no degree of separation because some AA meetings are half filled with celebrities. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      That must be interesting and cool, being that near to so many celebrities. Of course, they are no different than the rest of us really, but our perception is that they are something more!

      Like

      • Bradley says:

        I don’t get too star struck. I rarely make a big deal living here. Only two things got me very excited and that was the Brady Bunch house and Shemar Moore

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  8. In college my parents were friends with someone who has known every United States president since Dwight Eisenhower. That puts me within three degrees of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama, which puts me within four degrees of all the world leaders those presidents knew. So yeah, I’m pretty sure by the time you get to six degrees, I’m connected to pretty much everyone…

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